A Garbage Man in Colombia Has Made a Community Library From Discarded Books

iStock
iStock

Jose Alberto Gutierrez doesn’t just turn trash into treasure—he transforms it into a free education for neighbors. As The Telegraph reports, the middle-aged garbage collector in Colombia has spent the past two decades collecting discarded books he finds while on the job in Bogota, the country’s capital city. Thousands of titles later, Gutierrez has an enormous library, which he and his family lend out to the community for free.

Gutierrez’s library is called La Fuerza de las Palabras, which is Spanish for "The Strength of Words." The collection fills several rooms in his home—and thanks to donations, it continues to grow. (So much, in fact, that the Gutierrez family can no longer squeeze reading groups for children inside their house.) Today, the family is expanding their public literacy mission—and getting rid of extra books—by delivering titles to Colombia’s poor and rural areas.

Gutierrez grew up poor, but his mother instilled in him a love of reading. Now that the home librarian is older, he wants to share this passion with other low-income kids: "The whole value of what we do lies in helping kids start reading," Gutierrez told Al Jazeera.

Learn more about Gutierrez’s mission (and take a tour of his library) by watching CGTN America’s video below.

[h/t The Telegraph]

18 Disney Characters Just Got the LEGO Treatment

LEGO
LEGO

If you’ve ever wondered what one of Disney's princesses might look like standing next to Batman or Harry Potter, now's your chance to find out. LEGO has created minifigures of 18 characters from beloved Disney movies, and they’re a pretty diverse bunch.

There are Disney princesses and heroes, like Jasmine, Elsa, and Hercules. There are offbeat favorites, like Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. A couple villains were thrown into the mix for good measure, and classic characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse are also represented.

It has been a big week for both LEGO and Disney. The toy company announced the impending release of a 751-piece set that recreates the boat from Steamboat Willie, the 1928 short film that launched Mickey to stardom. The timing is also fitting, considering that Mickey recently celebrated his 90th birthday (not too bad for a mouse).

The S.S. Willie set will be available on April 1, but fans will have to wait a little longer for the Disney minifigures. Those will be available on the LEGO Store website and in stores nationwide starting May 1. Each minifigure costs $3.99.

Until then, check out some of the figures below, or browse LEGO’s selection of Disney-themed sets.

A Disney minifigure
LEGO

A Disney minifigure
LEGO

A Disney minifigure
LEGO

A Disney minifigure
LEGO

Disney’s Steamboat Willie Has Been Immortalized in LEGO

LEGO
LEGO

Mickey Mouse recently turned 90 years old, and soon, you’ll be able to celebrate with LEGO. Steamboat Willie, the classic Disney short film that introduced Mickey Mouse to the world in 1928, has now been recreated in a LEGO set that will be released on April 1.

The 751-piece LEGO version of the S.S. Willie features grayscale bricks that recreate the original black-and-white aesthetic of the original film. The 10-inch-long LEGO boat features moving steam pipes and paddle wheels and comes with new Mickey and Minnie minifigures. It’s also equipped with a ship’s wheel, a life buoy, a buildable bell, and a working crane that can lift the vessel’s potato-bin cargo.

LEGO's Steamboat Willie set
LEGO

The Steamboat Willie set was born out of the company’s fan-generated LEGO Ideas initiative several years ago. Creator Máté Szabó submitted the idea to LEGO in June 2016, then LEGO designers John Ho and Crystal Marie Fontan worked to adapt the set for retail sale, creating decorative elements and the new Mickey and Minnie Mouse minifigures.

LEGO's Steamboat Willie set
LEGO

Buy the kit on the LEGO Store website for $90 starting April 1. If you can't wait to get your LEGO fix, check out the company's other Mickey Mouse-themed products here.

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